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Fishing the North Coast, August 18 Rockfish bite hot, halibut slows off Eureka; Klamath River action heats up

By Kenny Priest

After a summer full of wind and rough seas, the ocean along the North Coast turned into a lake over the weekend, allowing boats of all shapes and sizes to hit the open seas. And what they found was plenty of fish to go around. The tuna hunters, who’ve been chomping at the bit for a couple months, were able to run offshore to where the warm water lies. Boats out of Fort Bragg and Shelter Cove found a good albacore bite 30 to 40 miles west, while the Crescent City fleet found the albies 45 to 60 miles straight out on Monday and Tuesday. Boats that made the run south to the Cape were greeted by loads of hungry rockfish, as well as a few halibut.

Eric Banko of Cutten holds a 33 lb Chinook salmon he landed last Sunday out of Eureka. Eric was fishing just north of the stacks in 190 feet of water with a flasher and sardine when the big fish hit.
Photo courtesy of Mike Earhart

There were a few salmon caught out of Eureka over the weekend, but no big numbers were reported. However, the fish that were caught were of quality size — in the 20 to 30 lb class.

Weekend Marine forecast

It appears the calm waters will give way this weekend as the swells are predicted to build on Thursday and gather steam through Saturday, then start to taper off on Sunday. Friday and Saturday we’re looking at swells NW six ft and WSW 1 ft, with wind waves one to two ft. Sunday is calling for swells four to five ft with wind waves one to two ft. The good news is the wind will be light, nothing greater than 10 knots is forecasted. For up-to-date weather forecasts, visit You can also call the National Weather Service at (707) 443-7062 or the office on Woodley Island at (707) 443-6484.


With the fall coastal river salmon season right around the corner, I asked a few of our local fishing guides to share their favorite roe cures for salmon. Here’s what they had to say.

Alan Borges of Alan’s Guide Service, (707) 496-9074

“I have a couple different methods that work for me. After the skeins are thoroughly cleaned, I’ll wrap them in paper towels and leave in the fridge for 24 hours. This is the most important step of the process. Then I’ll use either Pro Glow or Pro-Cure and follow the instructions. I’ll also experiment with different scents, with sardine being one of my favorites for salmon. The other cure I use is an equal amount of borax and sugar. You want to make sure and get the mixture in all the folds. I leave them in the cure for 24 hours or two days at the most. Once done, I’ll shake off the excess cure and they’re ready to fish. For salmon, I like the eggs to be a little on the rubbery side.”

Mike Coopman of Mike Coopman’s Guide Service, (707) 465-1367

“I use what I call the 3-2-1 cure — made up of salt, sugar and Borax. I’ll first butterfly the skeins and then add a light coat of salt.  Next I’ll sprinkle on some sugar and a good coating of Pro Glow red cure. Finally, I’ll add a good amount of Borax. I’ll put the skeins in large glass jars and let sit for two to three days, turning the jar upside down every 24 hours. After the third day, I’ll either dry or fish them depending on my schedule. To dry the eggs, I’ll drip-dry them on racks for 30-60 minutes, then wrap the skeins in paper towels and place in Ziploc bags and put in the fridge.”

Brice Dusi of Brice Dusi's Fishing Guide Service, (707) 496-8295

“Curing roe for salmon I almost always use a commercial cure, either Pro Glo or Pro-Cure. My main color is red but sometimes I’ll change it up. Salmon seem to like the sodium sulfite cures more and red has always been the go to color. I always make sure the eggs are clean and try to get as much of the blood out of the veins as possible. First I butterfly the skeins open and if they’re big, I’ll cut up in smaller sizes. I’ll shake on the enough cure to cover the skeins thoroughly. I’ll then put the skeins in a jar or Ziploc bag and when the eggs start juicing up from the cure (1 to 2 hours), I’ll shake them up to move them around in the juice. If you want a firmer egg, you can pour some of the juice out. They should be ready to fish in a day.”

Steve Huber of Steve Huber’s Guide Service, (530) 623-1918

“I’ve had really good success with Pro-Cure’s Last Supper Coastal /Tidewater Double-Red formula. I first butterfly the skeins and then add a good coating of the cure, making sure to get in all the folds of the eggs. I’ll then put them in glass jars for two to three days until the juice is re-absorbed. Next I’ll put the skeins in large-mouth jars and stick them in the freezer for 24 hours. At this point they are ready to fish as is, or you can dry them with straight or colored borax, depending on what color you’re after. If I’m not going to use the eggs right away, I’ll vacuum seal them in the jars and stick them in the fridge.”

Tony Sepulveda of Green Water Fishing Adventures, (907) 841-5420
Ninety percent of the time I’ll use one of the sodium sulfite based cures, either Pro Glow or Pro-Cure. I first butterfly open the skeins using a butter knife, then with the butter knife I push out all the excess blood from the blood line. I’ll then sprinkle the cure over the eggs making sure it gets in all the folds. I then leave them to sit in their juices for 30 minutes in either a bowl or a Ziploc bag. Next I’ll take them out and place them egg-side down on paper towels for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes I’ll turn them over and let them dry until they’re tacky. This normally takes about four to six hours, depending on the temperature and humidity. Once dry, they are ready to fish.”

Mike Stratman of Redwood Coast Fishing, (707) 476-9243

“After butterflying the skeins, I wrap the eggs in paper towels and leave them in the fridge overnight. This will remove most of the moisture. Next I’ll sprinkle on a 50-50 mixture of Borax and sugar, then I’ll mix in one of the commercial cures, Pro Glow, Pro-Cure, or Pautzke’s. Once I get a good coat on the eggs, I’ll put them in a gallon plastic container and put the lid on. I store the container in dark, cool spot, usually in the garage, until the juice is re-absorbed and the consistency is what I’m looking for.  At this point you can add scent to your eggs and they are ready to fish.”

Look for steelhead roe cures from these pros in next week’s “Fishing the North Coast”

The Oceans:


Ocean conditions this weekend aren’t going to be quite as nice as the past few days, but should remain fishable according to Phil Pritting of Eureka’s Englund Marine. “The rockfish bite down at the Cape has been awesome this past week, with the weather finally allowing boats to make the trip. The halibut action slowed the last couple days and the fish are being taken in a little shallower water, 200-210 ft. The top bait is still the jumbo sardines, with the B2 Squid coming in a close second. There aren’t a lot of salmon being caught right now, but the fish that are coming in are big,” said Pritting. There’s been a pretty good halibut bite inside the bay according to John Corbett of Eureka’s Pro Sport Center. “I heard one of the top spots was between Indian and Woodley Islands. The channels in the North Bay were also productive last week. The redtail perch bite has been steady at the usual spots from Centerville Beach north to Gold Bluffs Beach. Guys are catching a nice grade of fish, especially around the river mouths,” Corbett added. Skipper Phil Glenn on the Shellback reported a red-hot rockfish bite last Friday and Monday at the Cape, with easy limits each trip. Glenn also reports the halibut bite has slowed out front, with one to two fish per trip. Skipper Tim Klassen of Reel Steel Sport Fishing took advantage of the flat ocean and spent quite a few days down south below the Cape where he was able to scratch out a few halibut along with full limits of quality rockfish, including Blacks, Coppers, Vermilions, and a few lings mixed in.


The rock fishing is as good as it gets right now according to Chris Hegnes of Crescent City’s Englund Marine. “Boats are scoring easy limits and the ling cod have shown up as well. We’ve also had six or seven Pacific Halibut caught off the big reef in 70-90 ft of water. A few boats made the run for albacore on Monday and Tuesday and found good action straight out 45 to 60 miles,” Hegnes added.

Shelter Cove:

Russ Thomas of Mario’s Marina in Shelter Cove reports the tuna boats found a pretty good bite out 30-40 miles on Tuesday. “Just about every boat came back with fish, with about a 10 fish average per boat. There are still a few salmon being caught, with a few 30 pounders weighed in last week,” Thomas added

The Rivers:

Lower Klamath

The action isn’t red-hot, but it’s getting better everyday, according to Alan’s Guide Service. “We’re seeing fish in just about every hole from the Glen to Blue Creek. I did hear of a few more salmon caught by boats at the mouth on Tuesday, so that’s a good sign. The moss is also starting to thin out, so that should really improve the catch-rate. Red and natural colored roe have been the baits of choice,” Borges added.


Rick Frederick of Hawkins Bar Mini Mart reports there are still a few fish around from Burnt Ranch to Junction City, but not any big numbers. At this point we’re waiting for the fall fish to arrive and they just aren’t here yet,” Frederick added.

Questions, comments, tips, and photos can be emailed to

Fishing Reports

​Early Season Trinity Steelie
Gary Heffley with Steelhead
By Gary Heffley
10/21/16 -- They say your first is always special and yesterday's experience catching my first adult steelhead on the Trinity River with Todd LeBoeuf, Tiger T's Guide Service, was not only special, but a trip for the memory books. And what a...Full Story
Klamath Salmon Fishing Quota Nearly Met
Klamath River, CDFW photo
10/20/16 -- North coast anglers are about to meet their seasonal salmon quota in another popular spot, triggering new restrictions on the Trinity River fishery. Monitoring efforts show that anglers above Cedar Flat on the Trinity River will...Full Story
​Coastal rivers full of kings
salmon, by Mike Coopman
Fishing the North Coast by Kenny Priest
10/20/16 -- Last week’s deluge was just what our rivers — and our salmon — badly needed. From the Chetco to the Eel, all of the rivers saw huge flow increases, allowing the late run of fall kings to make their way from the estuaries...Full Story
2017 Fisheries Habitat Restoration Proposal 10/18/16 -- The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Watershed Restoration Grants Branch will hold a public meeting to discuss its Draft Fisheries Habitat Restoration 2017 Proposal Solicitation Notice (FHR 2017 PSN)....Full Story
ODFW: ‘Environmental DNA’ to track fish
Dr. Shaun Clements, research scientist for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, tests the waters of the upper Deschutes River for environmental DNA. Scientists are now able to use eDNA to tell what species are present in aquatic populations. This technology will help reduce the cost of fish monitoring and provide an early warning if invasive species are present. (ODFW photo)
10/11/16 -- The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is moving into the next generation of monitoring fish populations — one of the toughest challenges in fish management — by using new environmental DNA (eDNA) science to quickly...Full Story
OR: Wild Coho salmon bag limit regulations 09/30/16 -- Fishery managers issued a temporary rule earlier this week to clarify bag limit regulations for the wild coho salmon fisheries in Siltcoos and Tahkenitch Lakes. The action was taken because the bag-limit portions of the...Full Story
​Kokanee in Shasta?
Kokanee salmon, by goodwin guide service
By Gary Heffley
9/28/16 -- Kokanee fishing is becoming more and more popular for anglers throughout the state. Reports abound of great fishing in many lakes, and tournaments provided by organizations such as Kokanee Power continue to grow...Full Story
​Getting out of the North Valley heat By Gary Heffley 
9/13/16 -- The Redding area has been hot both in temperature and the fishing. Nothing can beat the outstanding trout fishing on the Sacramento River in Redding, the Kokanee fishing of Whiskeytown or the trout trolling successes enjoyed by...Full Story
Poachers fined for illegal abalone
CDFW patrol boat Thresher, courtesy of CDFW
09/13/16 -- Two Southern California men have been convicted and fined for abalone poaching and other resource crimes, stemming from a September 2015 California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) enforcement case...Full Story
CDFW Makes Buying a License Easier
Location map, by CDFW
09/03/16 -- The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is making life easier for anglers when it comes to purchasing a license and checking your local fishing regulations. CDFW has made the online license...Full Story
Buoy 10 Chinook season goes to Sept. 14 09/01/16 -- Recreational anglers will get an additional nine days to harvest Chinook salmon at the mouth of the Columbia River under a season extension approved today by fishery managers from Oregon and Washington...Full Story
A Hot Summer’s Day on Chico Creek
A Hot Summer's Day on Chico Creek, Steven T. Callan
On Patrol by Steven T. Callan
07/25/16 -- I’ve been exploring Northern California’s streams -- above and below the surface -- for most of my life. One of my most memorable adventures took place on a hot summer’s day in 1964, not long after my sixteenth...Full Story
Brownie’s Choice
Art work by Isabella Langaman
By Don Webster
Disregard the story’s title. I don’t really have a “first” name. If I did, it would probably be something like Leviathan or Behemoth or maybe Lunker. Officially, I’m a trout. A brown trout. A giant, brown trout. Possibly the biggest, fattest...Full Story
Keddie Ridge
Scouting Deerheart Lake, photo by Phil Akers
Article and photos by Phil “Flip” Akers
11/14/15 -- Adjacent to both Lake Almanor and Mountain Meadows, between the towns of Westwood and Greenville, is a seemingly forgotten piece of backcountry; Keddie Ridge – aka Ridge World – where ancient rocks... Full Story
Let’s check out the Upper Sac
Lake Siskiyou with Mt. Shasta standing sentinel. photo by Phil Akers
Article and photos by Phil "Flip" Akers
09/06/15 -- The Upper Sacramento River – The Upper Sac – begins at Lake Siskiyou’s Box Canyon Dam and continues ~37 miles downstream to Lake Shasta. It is a classic freestone river born from the Mt. Shasta and Mt. Eddy... Full Story
How to make Tuscan Tuna Salad with Fennel By Frank Galusha
05/04/15 -- OK, you went ocean fishing. If your fish is fresh or if you have processed, vacuum packed and frozen your catch properly, there are many ways to enhance your meals. Almost everything taken from the ocean is not... Full Story
Fishing the Klamath below JC Boyle Dam
 Brian Buckingham with one of the larger fish from this section. This trout, estimated at 2 lbs., was caught near the BLM campground on the west shore six miles down the JC Boyle Dam on the Klamath River in Southern Oregon. Photo by author
By Trouteagle
03/02/15 -- Year round trout action can be found on the Klamath River within the 20 or so miles of free flow within Oregon and California. While fishing below the flumes at the JC Boyle powerhouse, it can be difficult to know just when...Full Story
The Mystery of the Middle Fork, Part IV
Jim Broshears, author badge,
By Jim Broshears
11/10/14 -- This trip was to be the final chapter in the saga that began three years ago but is actually over 20 years in the making. As Bruce, Tuck and I journeyed back to the Middle Fork of the Feather River we made...Full Story
Climbing Terms for the Fisherman
Trailhead Tales by Jim Broshears
10/14/14 -- For those of us who prefer to fish the rugged and remote streams and rivers for the elusive wild trout, rock climbing is a skill that is required to reach the special places where catching the big one is a “sure thing.” The skills...Full Story
German brown trout afternoon in Modoc
german brown trout in Modoc creek.
By Lea Huetteman
09/04/14 -- Catching a German Brown Trout from the creeks in Modoc County is a fine way to spend an afternoon. There are many creeks in this part of California that drain the Warner Mountains. Stream trout fishing in this region opens...Full Story
Throw the kitchen sink at them
Indian Paintbrush is a favorite wildflower that carpets wilderness landscapes. Phil Flip Akers,
Article and photos by Phil Akers
08/20/14 -- Our wilderness areas are special, where Mother Nature is landlord and natural forces operate freely. Within the wilderness you will find no roads, shelters, picnic tables, toilets, or other conveniences. You enter at...Full Story
Humboldt Bay: Busy port, excellent fishery
Woodley Island Marina, Humboldt Bay, Eureka, California
03/06/04 -- Humboldt Bay, a busy commercial harbor and home port to many charter and private offshore fishing boats, is also popular with shore-based anglers and small boaters seeking bottomfish, sharks, crabs and clams...Full Story
Pulled into the pipes: Green Sturgeon
green sturgeon
By Erin Loury, FISHBIO
03/04/14 -- [Posted with permission of FISHBIO] Living in the Sacramento River can be a risky business for juvenile green sturgeon (Acipenser medirostris). The young fish must swim through a gauntlet of water... Full Story
Not Just Any Fish
California Golden Trout, California Heritage Trout Challenge, Not Just Any Fish, Phil
By Phil "Flip" Akers
02/14/13 -- Trout have inhabited California waters from the Sierra Nevada and Warner Mountains to the Pacific Ocean since prehistoric times. However, most of the trout caught by anglers are either hatchery raised fish...Full Story
Fishing with Phideaux
By Phil “Flip” Akers
01/26/14 -- Meet Phideaux, a 110-pound neurotic chocolate Lab. His name is pronounced “Fido” but it is spelled “Phideaux” because he is a Cajun dog. Anyway, last summer Phideaux took his human (that’s me) on a trout hunt up into...Full Story


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